200 Amp or 100 Amp Service

Do I report this as a 200 Amp service or 100?
Meter is rated CL200. Two 100amp breakers bonded.
Panel rating label obscured but it has 20 slots (100 amps, generally right?)
Home built around 1974.

100 amp

I agree. 100 amp. You must rate the service at the “weakest” link in the chain.

What I see is what appears to be one 220v 100amp main breaker. I also see one 220v ??amp breaker in that panel (electric range?).

Also looks to be a non-grounded system & one breaker not in use.

If the main breaker is 220v, 100amp, the meeter is 200amp and the main feed wires are large enough for 100amp service I would report it as 100amp.

Remember I can not see everything you can.

Two 100 amp 120v breakers tied together like that is still 100amps… you could have 3 100amp 120v breakers tied together and you still only have 100amps, you would have a different voltage rating though.

100amps +100amps = 100amps. (I’m sure someone can find an exception)

The bottom 220V breaker is a 40 amp for the AC. Nameplate on AC rates 30 amp max. Noted this in report.


First of all, you need to remember that a 200CL meter is NOT an indication of a 200 amp service. Most all meters these days are 200CL, even those used on a 100 amp service.

Also, Jason, why do you say it is not grounded? That is steel conduit feeding this panel. The ground could very well be carried through the conduit. Although a bonding bushing should have been used.

ALL 120/240v residential services are grounded. Let’s get that straight.
Some older services may not have a ground rod or a water pipe ground, but they ALL have the neutral bonded to ground somewhere. Even if it is a far back as the utility.
Simply not having a ground rod does not mean “ungrounded”. A ground rod DOES NOT provide a ground.

From the photo, I am unable to see that all of the wires entering the pannel box are in conduit or just wire clamps.

Even if this was on an older home that does not have a ground wire, it should have a ground installed to a ground rod or a cold water pipe or both. It appears to be a newer breaker box. That would meen that it would have been an updated system and would not have been an exceptable instalation if a permit was pulled and it was inspected.

Sounds Safe to me! ;-):shock::wink: NOT!

Ok. Why?
I am not talking about a water bond, but a grounding electrode.
What do your think a ground rod does?

Nobody commented on the top left breaker.

What about the lack of “grounds” (EGC’s) in the panel?

In very general terms…

It is a safety device to assist in reducing electruction by creating as short a path as possible of least resistance to ground (earth) as possible. That path, hopefully has less resistance (the longer the length of the wire the greater the resistance) then going across our bodies to reach ground (earth).

If I am wrong please educate.

Because as of right now you are telling me that there is no reason for any codes and no reason for any ground at all. Why should we even bother looking at the electrical system at all if what you are saying is true? To use loose terms… Hot wire, Neutral wire, the system is grounded by the neutral wire, what do we need a ground wire for! It looks pretty? I do understand that the rest of the house might have conduit that may be being used as the ground. But I would expect the panel to have a ground going to a cold water pipe &/or going to a ground rod or other approved grounding system.

Simple answer.

Electrodes put the structure at the same potential as ground (earth).

Any further discussion would require a class.

Thanks Mike, I’m not exactly short & simple with my responses today. Pain Meds for tooth pains. And I can put up with pain… It took 4 days to find out I had a broken finger once when I thought it wag just jammed (playing dodge ball)

Post note

The electode(s) is(are) NOT for ‘tripping’ breakers.

That is basically what I meant. A ground rod is NOT a safety net for shorts and opening breakers.
The path of least resistance you speak of does not come into play with regard to breakers and fuses. Voltage is NOT looking for this path to ground. It is looking for a path back to it’s source.
Grounding is NOT what most people think it is.

Here is a good read, titled “Ground Rod Does Not Assist in Clearing a Fault” :

Here is just one snipit:


Good response.

Do you have the same problem that I do?

That is, we understand it and try to make short posts assuming that we will be understood?

Oh yeah.
I sometimes forget this is not a trade specific board.

Actually I think it is the problem of WANTING to be understood…if the posts are in a method that is easy to understand the problem will not exist.

We are not training electricians here…that is an important concept to grasp.

It is very true that the ground rod which by example would not have enough resistance itself to actually trip anything…it is all about potential when it comes to grounding within the dwelling…but the ground rod for the main part is not on the system to assist in tripping anything…but it is needed to produce a balanced potential to reduce the risk of electrocution within the house…

"a power system with no secure connection to earth ground is unpredictable from a safety perspective: there’s no way to guarantee how much or how little voltage will exist between any point in the circuit and earth ground. By grounding one side of the power system’s voltage source, at least one point in the circuit can be assured to be electrically common with the earth and therefore present no shock hazard. In a simple two-wire electrical power system, the conductor connected to ground is called the neutral, and the other conductor is called the hot"

As far as the voltage source and load are concerned, grounding makes no difference at all. It exists purely for the sake of personnel safety, by guaranteeing that at least one point in the circuit will be safe to touch (zero voltage to ground). The “Hot” side of the circuit, named for its potential for shock hazard, will be dangerous to touch unless voltage is secured by proper disconnection from the source (ideally, using a systematic lock-out/tag-out procedure).


I agree. That is a great post. The part that really hit home for me is the paragraph after the one you cut pasted. I took the liberty to paste both paragraphs below.

Naturally, the earth cannot be use as the intended return path to clear a fault because its high resistance (one billion times that of copper, IEEE Std. 142 Section 2.2.8) will only allow a few (1 to 10) amperes to flow back to the source [250-2(d) and 250-54].

Note: Metal parts of the electrical system are grounded (connected to the earth) to prevent the destruction of electrical components from superimposed voltage from lightning and voltage transients and to help prevent the build-up of static charges on equipment and material.

(thank you Mike Holt)